Lee Brice was busy collecting songs for his I Don't Dance follow-up when he stumbled across "A Little More Love," a summertime anthem written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman, Natalie Hemby and Kristi Neumann. Something about the song's brotherly bounce made him reach out to Jerrod Niemann. Together, the longtime friends turned "A Little More Love" into a duet, relying on their real-life bond to sell the song's emphasis on buddies, buzzes and good weather.
"It was not meant to be a duet at all, but I felt Jerrod all over it," says Brice. "The groove, the message, the feeling of the song — it all screamed my best friend. We've been harmonizing together for years, playing live shows together for years, and you can hear that friendship on the final recording. We worked on a cool harmony part that almost sounds like two lead vocals going, rather than traditional harmony."
While recording "A Little More Love" at Nashville's Legends Studio, the two set up their microphones in the same room, looking to capture an off-the-cuff performance that would serve the song better. They wound up keeping one of the first takes. Months later, they headed south to Panama Beach, where they rented an El Camino and shot the song's music video beneath sunny Florida skies. The clip makes its premiere today on Rolling Stone Country.
Niemann, who will release the song on his upcoming debut for Curb Records, explains the video's narrative during an early morning phone call, hours after returning home from a USO Tour with the National Guard.
"We wake up on the beach and realize we missed our flight," he begins, "and there's a guy who takes us to this treasure chest full of money and gold. He tells us to go spread the love, so that's what we do. We go to this used car lot, buy an El Camino with horns on the hood and try to help people out. There are some kids at a lemonade stand, and we hook them up. Some women whose car breaks down. A businessman who needs a break. It was fun to roll around Florida with my best buddy and just help people, like we'd love to do in reality."
With a laid-back groove borrowed from hip-hop and a chorus that could've come from a Smash Mouth single, there's something quintessentially summery and radio-friendly about "A Little More Love." For Niemann and Brice, though, the song's appeal reaches far beyond that.
"It's exciting to know that a song like this can get played a lot," Brice says, "because it truly does lift you up. It gives a good message about taking everything in. That's what we're hoping for, at least. We're hoping people are moved by it. These days can be a grind, you know? These are the kinds of times when you need something to lift you up, so hopefully it brightens somebody's day, man."
"It's easy to want everything you see on TV," Niemann adds, "but some of the best times in our lives are spent fishing, camping, just riding around with the windows down, laughing. And that stuff is free! No one's on TV advertising how you can hang out with friends and family, but that's one of the true gifts of life. Hopefully, this song can bring attention back to that."